Introduction and objectives: Advanced lipoprotein phenotyping is a better predictor of atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk than cholesterol concentration alone. Lipoprotein profiling in heart failure (HF) is incompletely characterized. We aimed to describe the lipoprotein profile in patients with chronic HF compared with a matched control population.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed from May 2006 to April 2014 and included ambulatory patients with chronic HF. Lipid concentrations and the size of main lipoprotein fractions (high-density lipoprotein [HDL], low-density lipoprotein [LDL], and very low-density lipoprotein) and the particle concentration of their 3 subfractions (large, medium and small) were assessed using 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Results: The 429 included patients with chronic HF were compared with 428 matched controls. Patients with chronic HF had lower total cholesterol and lower mean LDL (1115 vs 1352 nmol/L; P<.001) and HDL (25.7 vs 27.9μmol/L; P <.001) particle concentrations, with this last difference being mediated by a significantly lower concentration of the small subfraction of HDL (15.2 vs 18.6μmol/L; P <.001). Mean very low-density lipoprotein, LDL, and HDL particle size was significantly higher in patients with HF vs controls. All HDL-related differences from controls persisted after adjustment for New York Heart Association functional class or body mass index. We found strong negative correlations of known cardiac biomarkers (N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and interleukin-1 receptor-like 1) with total and small LDL and HDL fractions and HDL particle size.

Conclusions: Patients with chronic HF significantly differ in their lipoprotein profile compared with unaffected controls. Further research is needed to better understand the pathogenic relevance of this difference.